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Electron Backscatter Diffraction

Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) is a technique that is uniquely suited to characterize crystallographic properties of your samples. Proprieties such as: grain size, grain shape, grain orientation, grain boundary misorientation, spatial distribution of phases, local deformation and texture can all be characterized by this technique.

EBSD Analysis is a great complement to the excellent capabilities of our X-ray diffraction (XRD) services. While our XRD tools and staff can provide unparalleled information on phase ID, nanocrystalline grain size, thin film thickness and textures; the new capabilities available by EBSD will provide spatial information, help to visualize the microstructure and add to a complete description of your crystalline samples.


Ideal Uses of EBSD

  • Visualization of microstructure with spatial coordinates
  • Characterization of texture in exact locations such as near welds or on semiconductor bond pads
  • Characterization of grain size & texture as it related to finish quality in sheet steel and Al
  • Measurement of large grains, without the error associated with LM
  • Characterization of special grain boundaries, such as CSL’s and twins
  • Measurement of grain misorientation
  • Characterization of deformation by examination of intragrain misorientation and grain aspect ratio
  • Characterization of epitaxially grown thin films
  • Characterization of in-depth texture, by examining cross sections

EBSD Examples

EBSD – Electron Back Scatter Diffraction is a technique using the electron beam of a SEM to differentiate the crystallographic orientations of grains on a sample surface. From EBSD we obtain:

  • Grain orientation
  • Grain size
  • Misorientation between grains
  • Pole figures and maps


  • Accurately provides spatially resolved grain size and phase information from several 10s of nm to several 10s of mm.
  • Provides texture information from localized area.
  • Provides grain boundary angle information.
  • Can be used for failure analysis.


  • The phase information needs to be known a-priori.
  • Cannot analyze amorphous materials.
  • Cannot distinguish phases of similar crystal structures (need to use EDS-EBSD technique).
  • High-quality polished surface is required.

EBSD Technical Specifications

  • Signal Detected: Diffracted electrons
  • Elements Detected: All elements, assuming they are present in a crystalline matrix
  • Detection Limits: Grain size >80 nm
  • Quantitative analysis: Grain size and related measurements: ~10%

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